|They say cats have nine lives, and Felix seems to have been no exception. Nearly thirty-five years after his first show, the wonderful, wonderful cat was meowing his way into the 1990's. CBS was so convinced that Felix should be welcomed aboard the Saturday morning lineup that they rushed out 55 five-second bumpers for the 1994 season. Unable to get a whole show out on time, the network was still able to introduce a new audience to the tricky feline by having him appear between established cartoons.
But the proud Felix, for whom confidence was never a problem, marched up to the executive in charge of children’s programming and demanded his own show. After all, he’d been a star since the 20's. He wasn’t going to play second fiddle to a bunch of grungy, slacker 90's toons with no sense of panache. The network gave in-rumors at the time suggested Felix had a couple of connected guys in his bag of tricks- and in 1995, The Twisted Tales of Felix the Cat debuted.
The new series echoed its original, jerky 1920’s style, where the characters appeared to bounce as they moved (think early Popeye). Responding to its star’s demands of high quality, CBS employed Don Oriolo, son of original co-creator Joe Oriolo, as co-executive producer.
The cartoon's look may have been an homage to Felix's silent era roots, but this was a Felix of the 90's, and he now had a speaking voice. In these new seven-minute "talkies," Felix employed not only his magic bag of tricks, but also his magic tail, an amazing appendage that could transform itself from a flashlight to a grappling hook to a sword and more, always coming out none the worse for wear.
Felix caught on with 90's kids, but not in the same way he had in decades past. After a successful two-season run, the cat retired again, content to kick back and enjoy the royalty checks from all those creepy, eye-shaking clocks.